University of Wisconsin–Madison

What is an Object Description?

 This is an outline for an object post written in the third person. If you are interested in personally responding to an object, using your own voice and discussing your personal experiences, follow these instructions.

A General Outline for a Wi101 Object Post

First sentence: This is what pulls your readers into your post, and it is also what search engines look for when crawling the web. The first sentence needs to be a big claim about the significance of the object. Think of it as the Twitter post about the object. (The 101 managing editor will you craft this sentence)

First paragraph: Introduces the what, when, where, and why of the object that will be elaborated on in the following paragraphs.

In the following 2-3 paragraphs, please:

  1. Describe the object (imagine an audience that cannot see the object). Looking at this object, are there special things we can learn about how to look at historical objects, or special things we might notice by looking closely? If so, please make sure to mention them. If it applies, think of this as your opportunity to teach student how to look at an object like this in the future.
  2. Address when and where the object was made or used (please make a special effort to ground objects in a local place in Wisconsin). Please also include details about who made the object if it is relevent (how, out of what, using what knowledge etc.)
  3. Address what you think the historical significance of the object could be. Please keep in mind that many of our readers are still in grade school. When explaining the significance of the object, it could help to consider how students will encounter themes connected to this object in the future.
  4. [optional] Address what concept or lesson students in Wisconsin should take away from their encounter with this object. (e.g. what does this object teach us about (pick one) technology, culture, innovation, immigration, exploration, industry, etc.?)

The final paragraph should include at least one sentence about how this object connects to a specific place in Wisconsin, and at least one sentence about how this object connects to a broader theme in Wisconsin history.In this final paragraph you may also introduce any interesting multimedia material you may have found—like a recording of a song materially connected to the story at hand, or a link to an interview connected to the story, etc.

In total, your post should be able 350-500 words.